When you’re obese and you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s very likely that you feel like you have to hide.

Fear of being judged as fat has paralyzed a lot of women who struggle with body image issues.

It’s possible that you have been walking around feeling wounded by a mother, father or other overbearing or even abusive parent or authority figure in your life who made you feel less than, unacceptable or unworthy.

Can you relate? I’d like to share a story of how that stinking thinking has affected me.

Overcoming my fat shaming thoughts and body insecurities to face my fear of heights

In 2015 my family and I went to Ocean City, Maryland for vacation. On the last day I decided to go parasailing with my daughter, Cara to face my fear of heights. The plan was to ride together in a tandem harness. When the boat captain saw my size, he told me that the harness would not support both my daughter and I.

Thinking back to all the times when my father used to put me down and criticize me about my weight, I felt so ashamed. A part me felt like running away and hiding so my fat thighs would not be seen by everyone. I wanted to cry and scream, but more than that, I was angry, in fact, livid because I realized that for far too long I let my father’s negative opinion of me rule my life. Now I realize that the only opinion that really counts is mine.

So I wanted to prove to myself that I had nothing to fear.

I decided to go parasailing alone. As the boat picked up speed, my big chunky body lifted up into the air. I kept going higher and higher until I could barely see my family in the boat below. At 450′ above the water, I was terrified, looking down into the bay. I noticed the tension in my hands as I clutched the harness for dear life.

My first flash of thought told me that I was alone up there. Then my next thought was that I wasn’t really ever alone. My Nana raised me to have a strong sense of faith. I don’t consider myself to be very religious, but deeply spiritual.

Somehow I just knew that God was with me, and that made me feel better.

I laughed when I realized that no amount of hanging onto a harness was going to keep me up in the air. I just had to trust that I would be okay.


In a profound moment and show of faith, I slowly released my hands’ death grip on the harness. First one, and then the other. With both hands free, I spread my arms out and shouted, “Here I am, Lord. I’m putting myself in your hands.”
The experience of letting go that day was indescribable. Since then my faith has been tested in many ways and I’ve found myself coming back to that place of gathering my courage and faith so that I can face my fears and let go of all that I can’t control. It hasn’t been natural and it’s not easy, but it sure does feel good to stop feeling the need to be in control of everything.

How has this changed my life? Because I grew up around so much chaos living with my mom who suffered mental illness and was attracted to abusive pedophile men, I learned to always anticipate the worst. For years I was estranged from my mother because I harbored so much hatred toward her and blamed her for not protecting my baby brother and I from danger.

Jumping at shadows is my natural instinct. I’ve lived in fear for so many years that it’s become normal to me. During quiet times, I have tortured myself with catastrophic thoughts, wondering when my luck would turn.

Now I see how I wasted years jumping at shadows and making mountains out of molehills, because I just didn’t know how to let go.

Now letting go has become something that I practice doing every day. My favorite way of letting go is meditating; every day. How ‘bout you? How do you let go so you can rise above your negative thoughts?